Biological Hazard – Pacific ocean – west – Philippines

EDIS Number: BH-20120317-34551-PHL
Date / time: 17/03/2012 20:10:59 [UTC]
Event: Biological Hazard
Area: Pacific ocean - west
Country: Philippines
State/County: Provinces of Bataan and Zambales
Location: [Coastal region]
Number of Deads: N/A
Number of Injured: N/A
Number of Infected: N/A
Number of Missing: N/A
Number of Affected: N/A
Number of Evacuated: N/A
Damage level: N/A


The red tide toxin phenomenon in Bataan and Zambales is at its worst, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) revealed Saturday. The BFAR renewed its warning against gathering and eating shellfish off the coasts of Balanga City and the towns of Samal, Orion, Orani, Abucay, Hermosa and Mariveles in Bataan, as well as in waters of Masinloc, Zambales. It said the red tide toxicity level in these areas has reached a record-high of 469 micrograms of red tide microorganisms per 100 grams of shellfish meat or more than 500 percent higher than the tolerable limit of 60 micrograms. As such, all types of shellfish and “alamang” gathered from the areas are not safe for human consumption. Since the red tide toxicity level is at a severe stage, anyone who eats shellfish harvested from affected areas could feel numbness and dizziness within 20 minutes, the BFAR said. It added that symptoms of red tide poisoning include numbness in the lip area, dizziness and vomiting, which may lead serious illness and even death. Fish, squids, shrimps, and crabs are safe for human consumption provided that they are fresh and washed thoroughly and their internal organs, such as gills and intestines, are removed before cooking. BFAR said that Balanga City Mayor Jose Enrique Garcia has informed his constituents through public address system that the ban is still on until said otherwise by BFAR. Meanwhile, BFAR shared that Samal Mayor Gene dela Fuente said the residents of the town were also informed of the ban. BFAR laboratory technicians here and in Bataan, with the assistance of fishermen, have been collecting water and shellfish samples since Nov. 20, 2011 after an old woman died and four others were hospitalized for paralytic shellfish poisoning after eating “sulib” in Samal town. One half of the shellfish meat and water samples were tested at the Bataan Red Tide Testing Center while the other half were brought to the BFAR main office in Manila for mouse bioassay, a laboratory technique to test for palytoxins.

Syndicated from RSOE EDIS - Emergency and Disaster Information